Re: Drushek phonology (revised)
|From:||John Vertical <johnvertical@...>|
|Date:||Monday, May 7, 2007, 13:26|
Donald Boozer wrote:
>Brief Drushek History and Physiology:
>The Drushek originally inhabited an island off the
>coast of the mainland until their home was invaded and
>overran by the Varalsans. Many of Drushek escaped the
>island and now wander the continent, teaching Shekstan
>(their esoteric, mystical philosophy) to anyone who
>comes to them with an interest (i.e., they are not
>evangelical). Drushek stand about three feet tall,
>have large muscular tails, and travel most effectively
>by leaping great distances. They have a large mane of
>hair and a tuft at the end of the tail; other than
>that, they are hairless. They have no claws or sharp
>teeth or other natural defenses (other than their
Hold on ... are they still Terran mammals? I don't recall if you mentioned
that the last time, and it's not obvious from this either.
Next up, some comments on the phonetics (from a human viewpoint - Drushek
physiology might differ, naturally):
>s' = /s_>/
>z' = /C_>/
/ts_> cC_>/ would be more naturalistic - consider that eg. /tK_> kx_>/
commonly occur in contrast with only the voiceless fricativ - but I suppose
fricativs do work too.
>n = /(h_n)_>/ ejective glottal fricative with a nasal
>release, as if trying to dislodge something from the
>nose with the mouth closed.
Er, if it's ejectiv, the POA cannot be glottal (since you've alreddy got the
glottis in use for creating the airflow). I think you're going for a
voiceless nasal of some sort here, possibly pre- or fully glottalized, or
ejectiv. Probably with dorsal or labial oral closure, but I'm not so sure
about that. (So CXS /?N\_0/, or /m_0_>/ = /p_>_n/, or thereabout.)
>x = /x/ voiceless velar fricative, in German Bach
Wait ... if you have /q q_>/ rather than /k k_>/, but possibly having velar
allophones, shouldn't this phoneme pattern the same way? Ie /X/ but with [x]
as an allophone? (And IIRC German "ch" commonly *is* [X] after back vowels,
>r' = /r_>/ voiceless alveolar ejective
Likewise here, I'd think /tr_>/ were better. Your transcriptions even have
"tr'" rather than just plain "r'", so I suppose you could even actually mean
>k* = /N_!/ nasalized velar click (in Z-SAMPA
>notation). The mouth is closed and the velum is the
>point of articulation with the air being ingressive
I call this a "bilabial (nasal) anticlick" in my own voiceless xenolang. A
proper velar click would involve an uvular closure.
>Affricates: The most common affricates are qs /q_s/ and ps /p_s/.
>These also occur as a stop+ejective: qs' and ps'
Just FWIW, non-homorganic stop+fricativ pairs aren't usually considered
>The Question of Vowels:
>Being a voiceless language, Drushek does not have
>vowels as they are normally understood in languages
>utilizing voicing. However, the concept of the
>voiceless vowel is applicable in this situation. In
>X-SAMPA transcription, voiceless vowels include /A_0,
>E_0, I_0, u_0/. "Semi-vowels" or "pseudo-vowels" are
>present in the language, namely x, h, r', and r. For
>example, the word <tr'w.> /r_>u_0/ "being, existence;
>(a) being" is transliterated into UP as "dru" /dr\u/
>whereas <trx.> /rxA_0/ "gesture, hand-shape" is
>transliterated "tra" /tr\A/.
So, what's the scheme for inserting these voiceless vowels? Arbitrary
standard? If it were based on the quality of the adjacent consonants, I'd
expect a set of six: /i_0 y_0 @_0 8_0 A_0 Q_0/ or something thereabout -
that is, palatal influence, no influence, and uvular/pharyngeal influence,
all with labial influence variants. I suppose this sort of a set might get
mangled into exactly /i_0 i_0 E_0 u_0 A_0 A_0/, tho, in the mouths of Umod
speakers if that language only had /i E A u/, and that even matches your
transcriptions to a good extent. But surely the Drushek themselves wouldn't
be limited by human vowel inventory tendencies?
>k = /($\_0)N_<\/ nasal-ingressive voiceless velar
>trill. This is the sound parodied in SpecGram (wide
>double dot O). It is the English sound of a pig
>snorting. This is a common expression of disbelief or
By POA, this is technically velopharyngeal, not velar, since the velum is
the activ articulator rather than the passiv. A plain velar trill is
considered impossible for human tungs, but a velopharyngeal fricativ /f\/
(this transcription from Z-SAMPA) can be contrasted with the velar fricativ
/x/. Now, technically, all non-nasal sounds are co-articulated with a
velopharyngeal stop, and all nasal sounds with a velopharyngeal approximant;
Other velopharyngeals can also be combined with basically all oral
configurations, too. If you have no oral closure (with the velopharyngeal
trill), you get a snort; if you have one, you get a snore.
Anyway, this all still sounds mighty interesting. Glad that you shared this!
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